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Connecting to a VPN service


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Here in Australia we have to use a VPN service to login to US sites that only allow connections to US customers.  These include, Netflix & Hulu for video streaming and for example Adobe to buy at US prices rather than paying exorbitant prices on the equivalent Australian site. (I hasten to note this is not illegal). Some VPN services are free but a decent one cost $5 - $10 per month.  These services do slow down the connection somewhat so I only like to use them as needed rather than remain always connected. Most of the time you want to access Australian sites from Australia rather than to US and back again.


I would like to set up two different IP connections from my ISP. One that uses the VPN and one that doesn't and switch between them as required. My desktop has 2 NIC’s.

I have thought long about the best way to do this.  I could leave one of my NIC’s connected to my LAN via my Sophos and use this as my main access to the world.  I could then connect the second NIC directly to second IP address and use it when I access the world via the VPN service.  This leaves me quite vulnerable.  Another approach would be to have the second connection via another router.  This router would have to have the ability to support PPTP and or Open VPN. I could then just enable the NIC on whichever connection I wished to use or just unplug the connection to the one I did not want to use.

Interested to know what others (who have the time to read this) think.

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The first question I have is whether of not you can actually get more than 1 WAN IP from your ISP. In North America most ISPs won't do it (that I know of. I know mine won't for sure - I've asked).

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We're almost in the same boat. I solved mine through two approaches:


1. I purchased a PPTP/L2TP 'dial-on-demand' subscription. I use this generally on mobile devices mostly (Android, iOS, laptops and a PC). Whenever I need to access US sites, I just fire up the VPN dialer. The disadvantage here is that, it's a common policy that you're only allowed one device to be connected at a time.


2. Setup OpenVPN on a 2nd router behind my main router, something along the lines of the figure below. With that setup, you have two gateways to choose from. Put as the default gateway for devices NOT using the VPN. Use as the default gateway for devices that requires a VPN connection (ie. Roku, etc.).


(Disregard the Guest network if it doesn't apply. I originally made this diagram for somebody)


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So I have 2 IP address from my ISP so I can set up the 2 routers in Tandem not one behind the other..


I am in the middle of loading DD-WRT into my old RT-N66 U so that I can use it to setup the VPN.


Now what is the easiest way to switch between either router from my desktop. Do I
1. Physically connect the appropriate NIC to whichever router I want to use or

2. Do I leave both NIC's connected and just enable the appropriate one when I want to use it or

3. Don't know!!

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Just so we're on the same page.... Those two IP addresses, I am assuming that it is a single block or a range of addresses provided by your ISP over a single piece of wire from the modem (if applicable) to your router's WAN port?


If you'd be so kind as to provide just the last octet of the IP addresses assigned to you, the gateway, as well as the subnet mask. DO NOT show the first three octets for purposes of security..


For example.

IP1: x.x.x.10 /28

IP2: x.x.x.11 /28

Gateway: x.x.x.1 /28

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I have a cable modem a Cisco epc3925 (DOCSIS 3.0) supplied by ISP.  It has 4 ports. I have connected one port to my Sophos router for my LAN and one port connected to my ASUS RT N66-U which use for:


Internet access for all our smart phones, guests, and 3 internet radios.


The current octet of each is x.x.x.1 and x.x.x.58

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Ah well. The Cisco has a built-in switch, making both IP addresses accessible from the 4-port switch. Yes, I agree that there's no need to put the VPN router behind the Sophos.


As far as switching between the two routers, the options you mentioned earlier are all feasible. It all boils down to practicality and one which is easy to do. But I have to say the plugging/unplugging RJ45 between two data outlets can be tedious. It will also require a second data port for all the places you need both wired local and VPN connections.


For your wireless devices, another option is to enable the WiFi on the Asus and set it up with a different SSID and channel than what you are already using on your main network. To have a client use VPN, just connect to the Asus SSID.


For your desktops, you can put on a WiFi dongle so it too, can connect to the VPN SSID on demand. Though, you still need to disable or disconnect the physical LAN port so the WiFi connection gets preference.

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You have solved my problem.  I only want my desktop to connect to the vpn and I was only thinking of ethernet cabling but my desktop has wifi built in which I never use. It's a WIFI gocard that came with the MB (P8Z77-V Premium). The ASUS router has 2.4 and 5 GHz. Pretty sure with DD-WRT you can setup separate networks on each band. One for the VPN and the other for my guests.



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